This Could Have Been Me

The fear that woman feel is so real, men just don’t have to think about safety like we do. they never think – i shouldn’t be here by myself i might be raped.

I remember my husband taking me up Chancellor hill (a beautiful city view in Trinidad) late one evening on impulse, for a drive he said – i know he was being romantic. He came out the car, left the door opened and leaned up watching the view. I was scared to death and couldn’t come out the car. It was late, we were alone and their was trees all around. He was so relaxed and after a while looked at me quizzically. I said, “come back in here, you not afraid someone will rape you.”

He laughed so loud, he was weak with laughter until he realized i was seriously stricken.

He’s huge, tall and muscular, and knows how to fight. He makes conversation easy with strangers and seems to never be in a place without knowing someone. There isn’t much failing a gun that could take him down so he’s confident with darkness and impulse expeditions. He’s oblivious to my fears and i have to explain that even though i appreciate and trust him, my reality is different.

I am a woman. I do everything i can to be cautious yet everyday i frown at a situation and my heart beats faster than normal. The fear is in me, passing a construction site is a nightmare, men size you up all day and you have to push back or ignore.

It’s exhausting!

I wish safety was a given.
I wish men were taught about women’s fears.
I wish i wasn’t always on alert.

We need a generational shift, not to turn the tables but to equal the playing field.

EmpressExpressions

Critics May Lie

Let me see how I am going to explain this now…

Following the Mayor of Port of Spain’s comments on the death of Japanese national Asami Nagakiya two days ago patrons met on Woodford Square in Port-of-Spain to share how his comments affected them and to protest his apparent unconscious misogyny in a position of authority. I would like to do the same.

I hate to accuse people of indifference but if you are a man you cannot fully understand how the majority of women felt, which is why I was not surprised that so many men misunderstood the outrage, my own father (who is convinced it is a political ploy and the Mayor said nothing wrong) being one of them.

You can sympathise, as many men have. Thank you. Your support is appreciated. Trust me, it is! More than you know, because it means mind sets are changing.

However…

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A book Review – Hurricane of the Heart

Hurricane of the herat

Kyle and Alia’s story started out like two young traditional characters; the male player who chases and the female most innocent who runs away. Somewhere in the story the writer captures the life of the indigenous Carib people (yes I am a little bias as I am from that line of people) and the power and effect of a hurricane. These vivid descriptions of the catastrophe, during and after brought the couples’ banter and love to life. Which was all happening in between the most realistic Caribbean characters like ‘Tanty’ and ‘the Reverend’ and island bureaucracy. By the time I reached half of the book I was won over.

Then they had a huge change of scenery and I wouldn’t have complained if the book ended at that moment and went into a book two.

Nevertheless we followed the characters into another phase and met new characters who were also so familiar. I wondered if the writer was writing about her experiences. The character development was excellent and made the difference in the rating. As expected they were challenged, they were torn and then they found their way back.

This book is a sweet romance that will make you say awwww at the end.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

Barbadian Author launches Bridgeland

MEDIA RELEASE
Barbadian author launches self-published Bridgeland: Volume One graphic novel

July 29, 2015/Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgeland. Marc Gibson

Barbadian author and film-maker, Marc R. D. Gibson, celebrates the print release of his self-published first graphic novel, Bridgeland: Volume One.

The intimate event held at the Old Spirit Bond in early July was well attended by various members of the local literary and arts community, fellow authors and film-makers, as well as a number of governmental representatives including Director (Ag) of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr. Deryck Murray, and Cultural Industries Development Consultant, Andrea King.

With interior illustrations by Tristan Roach and cover art by Cherise Ward, Bridgeland: Volume One tells the first part of a gripping and suspense-filled saga set in contemporary Barbados that poses the question ‘How far would you go for family?’ The original story follows two teenage brothers from an underprivileged background after they execute a half-baked plan to burgle a wealthy home that goes tragically wrong.

Gibson stated that even though time-line for the pet project, from conception to present, spanned a decade; he was pleased by his accomplishment, adding that the milestone was not only a representation of his effort, but the support and encouragement he received from Bridgeland’s many supporters.

According to Gibson, since the launch the response to his graphic novel has been outstanding. He admitted that he took sincere delight in delivering signed copies to persons who were unable to attend the launch. “I’ve been working and talking about Bridgeland for a long time. My sheer determination and dedication was something that some people personally told me got them interested in it,” the author commented.

Gibson added there have been some unexpected developments. “When I learned that the Governor of the Central Bank (Dr. DeLisle Worrell) wanted a copy of my graphic novel, I was flabbergasted!” Gibson explained that the twists continued. Instead of a brief signing and quick photo op, he instead enjoyed an almost 90-minute, intimate conversation that began with his and the Governor’s mutual love for the media of graphic novels and comic books, and extended through an eclectic range of topics.

Gibson stated that he had a number of things up next on his slate, including completing Bridgeland: Volume Two, penning a memoir about life with a rare condition, and wrapping up production on the crime/drama web-series Strongarm for the Blazer Base Network.

Bridgeland: Volume One has been available on http://www.chattelhousebooks.com in e-book format since November 2014 and will be available in print at Chattel House Books in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, Barbados in August this year.

Bridgeland Vol 1 Launch1

Author and film-maker Marc R. D. Gibson signs a Bridgeland poster for a fan.
BRIDGELAND VOL 1 LAUNCH3

Bridgeland: Volume One author Marc R. D. Gibson is all smiles with Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell after he received his signed copy of the graphic novel.

Marsha Gomes-McKie and the Caribbean Books Foundation

Thank you so much for the support.

Repeating Islands

CBF.33072In “A showcase for Caribbean books,” Verdel Bishop (Trinidad Express) writes about the Caribbean Books Foundation (CBF) and its founder, Trinidadian Marsha Gomes-McKie. Bishops says, “Although the Caribbean book industry continues to face a plethora of issues, there is a new NGO offering help.” Here are excerpts—please see the full article in the link below:

Caribbean Books Foundation (CBF), founded by Marsha Gomes-McKie, offers the most critical assistance as well as provide a starting point to ensure that authors have a supportive platform to thrive and succeed. The CBF’s main focus is to support authors by providing a promotional platform for their books after they are published regardless of being traditionally published or self-published.

Through CBF, which Gomes-McKie established in 2013, she has been reaching out and getting to know other authors around the Caribbean. It all started when Gomes-McKie, who is an author herself, envisioned a place…

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If I Never Went Home by Ingrid Persaud

A BOOK REVIEW

If i never went home

I appreciated the realness of the story as it looked at growing up in the Caribbean in a small village and the effects that it had on both of the main characters in Trinidad and even after migrating to Boston.  The certainty that your childhood stays with you and shapes you into the person you become or doesn’t become holds true and it was well portrayed.

I have to admit that I took a while to get accustomed to the fact that the story had two main voices because Bea had frequent flashbacks to her childhood when the second character, Tina was also a child. I did a bit of re-reading before I could find my bearings. Nevertheless once found, I read it with ease and comfort.

I would have liked to find out more about how Bea made the transition from patient to doctor after that final blow with her mother. She didn’t have any support to overcome it and she had a bad track record. Her character matured somewhere in the book to take that leap of faith in the end and I was waiting for the flashback to go through it with her. I am also a sucker for a happy romantic ending and I was looking forward to at least one, but my bubble got burst quickly especially with the good doctor.  I connected with Tina, a very strong character who was dealt a hard deal in life and she pushed back, sometimes too hard while forgetting to develop principles of her own. Life really isn’t about how much you fall and she persevered into my heart as I routed for her in spite of and would love to hear more about her story.

The book touched on many family issues and lifestyle consequences like incest, adultery, divorce, domestic violence and everything in between.

This is my first read from the author Ingrid Persaud and I look forward to reading other books from her.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

The Protectors’ Pledge by Danielle McClean

A BOOK REVIEW

the Protectors pledge.2

JV our resident hero is a darling and he could be your little brother or your big brother – a cousin, nephew or uncle. He is very much a Caribbean youth. His adventure is the “bush” adventure we all dream of as a kid but our mothers, well my mother never let me near the forest. He has a peppery grandma and gets in trouble when he disobeys her.

The village comes with a nosy neighbor, a market with tamarind balls, and someone named Mr. Chin.

The story is believable and it flows wonderfully. There are a few additions though, of the mythical folklore-ish kind.

I love folklore and Danielle effortlessly weaves a web that entertains and teaches.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

 

How to Find Yourself and Claim What’s yours by Carolyn Correia

A BOOK REVIEW

how to find yourself

Carolyn’s, how to find yourself and claim what’s yours is a personal journey which is narrated by the author during her times of self-actualization. Throughout the book Carolyn takes us back and then brings us to the present as she shares what worked for her and what can work for us. The book is genuine as Carolyn, in her desire to make a difference and she lays life lessons at your feet.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

Selima and the Merfolk by Vanessa Salazar

A BOOK REVIEW

selima and the merfolk

I am a sucker for happy ending so whenever I read a book, I secretly say to myself please don’t let this be an undercover tragedy. I get so caught up in a book that I literally feel like throwing it if the ending is horrid. (ok I have thrown some.)

I am pleased to report that ‘Selima and the Merfolk’ was enchanting. The book was full of beautiful descriptions and real emotions. It captured the local culture perfectly; anyone who has been to the beach Vanessa Salazar writes about will search their memory to remember those rocks. Youngsters and adults will relate to it. In the end I felt a little worried about Dave’s relationship but I look forward to enjoying more magic as the second book is published. I hope the manuscript is already in the works.

Overall, ‘Selima and the Merfolk’ was a refreshing read.

I felt like driving up to Las Cuevas, as I am in Trinidad to see if I can cross the jagged rocks into the isolated beach and find the hidden pool. Maybe I will someday.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org

Inner City Girl by Colleen Smith-Dennis

A BOOK REVIEW

Inner city girl

The strange thing about dialect is that it isn’t universal. It enriches a book for a particular market but sets it apart for another. Whenever I try to figure out what a “slang/colloquial” word may mean, it usually isn’t what it means. Months after in conversation I get that enlightened look and have to go back to the book.

Inner City girl started with heavy dialect. The conversation was rich enough to have me regretting I ever lent out my copy of “Cote ci Cote la.”

The book however would be nothing without it. The heavy dialect did more to frame the poverty than any other words. I could almost hear Martina’s mother’s slurs and understood Martina’s need to be different. The book outgrew the dialect as Martina grew: simple and subtle. The story was unique, a passionate advocate for overcoming life obstacles with determination. Another good read.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org.